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MailTribune.com
  • Intersection rebuild gets scaled back

  • Knife River Materials of Medford is the apparent low bidder for a scaled-back rebuild of the intersection at Fourth Street and Central Avenue in downtown Medford that should begin sometime this summer.
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  • Knife River Materials of Medford is the apparent low bidder for a scaled-back rebuild of the intersection at Fourth Street and Central Avenue in downtown Medford that should begin sometime this summer.
    The project budget has been reduced to $1.7 million by cutting back on some features to help with the completion of other Medford Urban Renewal Agency projects.
    "We had a much bigger project in mind for $2.2 million," said Cory Crebbin, director of Medford Public Works.
    Bike lanes on a short section of Central have been removed in the current version of the project. A concrete intersection similar to the one at McAndrews Road and Crater Lake Avenue has been changed to asphalt. Bike lanes on Fourth have been reduced from 5 feet wide to 4 feet.
    Further improvements to the roadway along Central Avenue north of Fourth Street also have been cut back.
    Still, the project will improve turn lanes, install new sidewalks and add decorative street lights and trees. Wide sidewalks that traverse much of the downtown will be added along portions of Central and on Fourth.
    On the southeast and southwest corners of Fourth and Central, the sidewalks at the crosswalks will jut slightly out into the street to make it safer for pedestrians, which is a common arrangement in the downtown.
    Since it is such a major intersection in Medford, traffic conditions could get backed up during the several months of construction.
    "It's not going to move smoothly," Crebbin said.
    The project has been on the city's wish list for years because the signals are controlled by outdated equipment. New signals and a signal controller will be installed. The signal poles will be set back farther from the street.
    The City Council will decide on July 17 whether to accept Knife River's bid of $657,687 for the construction portion of the project. The remainder of the budget paid for right of way, easements, design and engineering.
    Both KOGAP and LaDuke Construction submitted bids of just over $730,000.
    Under the new design, Fourth Street, to the west of Central, will have two travel lanes and a center turn lane. Fourth Street to the east of Central will have one travel lane heading west, a turn lane and two lanes heading east.
    Shoes Right Here has moved a block away to 310 N. Bartlett St. The original location at the southeast corner of Fourth and Central will be demolished toward the end of the month.
    Jeff Warkel, manager of the Shoes Right Here store in Grants Pass, said moving locations for the Medford store occurred just as he was gearing up for the back-to-school sales period.
    "It was the worst time for us to do it," he said.
    Despite his misgivings, Warkel said the new location looks out onto the new parks at The Commons.
    "I'm really happy with the outcome," he said. "We get to see the amphitheater in the park."
    Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/reporterdm.
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